It’s rather that their sound is one that strips away a lot of what most people use to create pop songs. They aren’t really looking to communicate on an immediate level.
Herrek again! This time with another patient, beautifully balanced record that somehow hits home the more you play it. AM is a big step on from Waktu Dulu. They’ve grabbed something from that record, (confidence, definition?), and run with it here. Like Waktu Dulu, it’s a short release, but somehow that suits Herrek. They cram a hell of a lot into their records in any case, (including some fairly convoluted phraseology which somehow makes sense) and consequently their sounds take time to digest; slowly unfolding after a few plays. It’s taken me three months to get a handle on this new one, despite their deceptively simple music, and simple way of laying down a track. It’s just that – on one level – their music doesn’t really exist, or show its presence as music.
Now before you think I’ve been drinking, I haven’t. It’s rather that their sound is one that strips away a lot of what most people use to create pop songs. They aren’t really looking to communicate on an immediate level. Tracks like Fading Waves and Waste are more like stripped down, suggestive mood pieces that become music during their lifespan. When you get this their sound is incredibly seductive. I suppose singer Gerrit gives it all away in the couplet on The Roof; “I’m obsessed with the way a melody grows / It’s the most (legal? lethal?) example of how life flows”. It’s a bit like The Blue Nile used to operate; steady plods towards a sort of meaning or cognition. And I still think that somehow Gerrit is in tune to the rhythms of the Indonesian countryside where he spent a lot of his early years. There’s no need to hurry. There also a sense of space that is lush, but vast and very un-Dutch. On-Nederlands goed? I didn’t say that guv. Well not in the way everyone means it!
Well worth your time. And time is what you’ll need here.